Kids And Cell Phone Hazards Risk: Optus And Toys R Us Should Tell Parents The Risks
Australian Democrats – Media Release
Lyn Allison – Spokesperson on Communications
October 21, 1999

The Democrats today slammed an Optus-Toys ‘R Us joint venture selling mobile phones to children

The Democrats’ Spokesperson on Communications, Senator Lyn Allison, said the deal was reprehensible, given long-term concerns over the effects of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones on children.

“Only a week ago, a US study* showed that children absorb up to 50 per cent more radiation from using mobile phones than adults,” Senator Allison said. “The younger the child, the more radiation they absorb, with ten year olds absorbing 10 per cent more radiation, and five year olds absorbing 50 per cent more.”

Recent research by the Melbourne-based Communications Law Centre indicated that 18 per cent of 14 to 17 year olds own a mobile phone.

“More and more children are getting mobiles, yet instead of making sure they are safe, companies are trying to get them using mobiles at younger ages. Optus and Toys R Us are showing scant regard for children’s health.”

“I urge parents to write to Toys R Us and Optus, asking them to leave their kids alone, or to commit to selling genuine toy telephones that do not function on microwaves.”

U.K. newspaper The Express reported this week that a scientist paid millions of dollars by mobile phone companies to investigate the health risks has criticized them for failing to act on his findings, which found that brain tumors were higher in users of mobile phones – In some cases up to 50% higher.

The Washington-based scientist, Dr George Carlo, said some companies had “repeatedly and falsely claimed” that mobiles “are safe for all consumers including children.”

Dizziness, brain tumors, headaches and concentration lapses are among the symptoms linked with mobile phone usage in various research studies.

*Professor Om Ghandi, head of electrical engineering, University of Utah.